1528 Tasting Notes
This is a single tea bag sample that I got with my Kusmi Tea order today. When I opened it, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this one is a muslin sachet (I was disappointed that the first sample I tried was not). It’s amazing to me to look at the craftsmanship of it – I mean, it’s most likely done by machine like most things are nowadays, but it is very cool nonetheless. The string is actually a length of a sort of looped/stitched thread and then the tag is actually stitched to it, which I find amazing. There are zero staples or glue in its construction. Smelling it, I catch a vague musty floral scent not that dissimilar to a chamomile. There is also a hint of herbal scent.
The brew has a light, musty floral scent, but at the forefront is a strong aroma of dill. Upon tasting it, I found that it tastes pretty similar to a chamomile tea, but it has a quite prominent dill note. I have never encountered this in a tea before, and I must say I quite enjoy it. I added a small amount of sugar, otherwise I feel this could have passed as a savory tea.
While this certainly isn’t my favorite tea, I find it very interesting and I really appreciate the chance to try such a unique taste. Thanks, Kusmi!
Flavors: Dill, Floral, Musty
This is my second steep for these leaves. I lowered the time from 4 to 3 minutes and then added another 30 seconds since it’s the second steep. The brew smells very green and floral and still has a touch of peach fragrance. The tea has a mild to medium vegetal taste with a lot of floral flavor still. The peach is still there, but it has devolved into more of a vague sweet fruitiness that I wouldn’t have identified as peach if I hadn’t tried the first brew. The floral in this cup lingers on the back of the tongue for quite some time after a sip. There is also a faint bitterness at the end that is not entirely unpleasant. Overall, still a very tasty tea! :)
Trying this tea next on a request/recommendation(?) from Boychik. This is the second I’ve tried out of my Kusmi Russian Blends pack. The dry leaves have an extremely strong bergamot scent, there might be a tiny bit of floral smell but it’s really hard for me to tell again the bergamot. I used the same brewing technique that was suggested to me for St. Petersburg, since it’s a very similar tea.
When I smell the brewed tea, I definitely get a distinct floral note in conjunction with the bergamot, which is considerably milder than in the dry leaf. I must say, I really love the taste of this tea! I can taste the black tea base, which seems mild and smooth, and I can definitely taste the bergamot, but it doesn’t overpower. There is a definite floral note, though I couldn’t say what type of floral (other reviewers have suggested lavender, but I don’t know its flavor well enough to say)). I also get a subtle note of citrus other than the bergamot – I looked up the ingredients and found this to be mandarin or orange. I also added a small amount of sugar to mine which really works to bring all the flavors together.
I was surprised to see that quite a few people hated this tea. I don’t know if maybe they’re not consistent in the formula or if they have changed it over time. Or maybe I’m crazy, woo! :D I can’t wait to try this with a splash of milk.
Flavors: Bergamot, Floral, Orange
I have never had a mint tea before now. Well, at least, not a straight mint tea – I’ve had mint in other blends but never as the star. I’m a bit particular about mint. I like it in some things, especially when there’s sweetness involved, and I don’t mind it in others. Opening the tin, the smell of the dry leaf is extremely strong and it is very similar to a sharp spearmint gum or mouthwash scent. The loose leaf looks like gunpowder green to me (I’ve never tried a gunpowder, but the look is pretty distinct). I brewed it for 3 minutes and added a small amount of sugar (probably about 1/2 tsp).
The brew itself smells very spearminty, although thankfully it’s not as extreme as the dry leaf. It now smells like a milder spearmint gum. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of this tea. Unlike the scent, the spearmint taste does not overpower the tea. However, I think I would be happier with slightly less spearmint and slightly more tea. I can taste a light smokiness which I can only guess must be characteristic of gunpowder. The mint melds with the tea beautifully, and there is a slight but not unpleasant bitterness at the end of the sip. I think the steep time was perfect (I partially based it off of my results with Strawberry Green).
Overall, pretty tasty. I can see why this is a classic (although it likely won’t be a classic for me). This could be very relaxing in the evening or refreshing as a spring tea.
Flavors: Bitter, Smoke, Spearmint
Trying this one again after getting advice from the lovely Boychik. The first time, I followed the instruction on Kusmi’s site and I felt like I didn’t get any flavor other than bergamot. She recommended that I raise the water temperature and slightly lower the steeping time, so this time I did 3 minutes at about 205 degrees.
Since I forgot the first time, the dry leaf smells overpoweringly of bergamot, maybe with a touch of sweetness from the caramel. My nose had to keep its distance unless it wanted its sinuses cleared.
The liquid smells like a combination of bergamot, sweetness, and a touch of fruitiness – I would categorize it as fresh cherry. However, when the brew is freshly made and hot, I can mostly just taste bergamot with some sweetness. Yet again, I took Boychik’s advice and let it cool so that the flavors would be more prominent. I took a sip every few minutes or so as it cooled to see how it compared. I could definitely taste it getting sweeter from the caramel (I also added a little sugar so this may have interfered with the caramel flavor). I think it may be a case of an underdeveloped tea-tasting palate, but even when I let it cool to just slightly warmer than room temperature, I was getting at most a hint of cherry or “red fruit” taste.
I still really enjoy this tea, and I liked it much better this time around, since the bergamot was less overpowering. Thanks again Boychik!
Flavors: Bergamot, Caramel, Red Fruits, Vanilla
This tea is the first of the three free samples I got with my Kusmi Tea order (thanks for the freebies!). First, I must say that I am slightly disappointed that their sample tea bags are not the fancy linen bags that they generally package their bagged teas in. They’re that synthetic material that most pyramid tea bags are made of but they’re in a standard rectangular shape. This seems a little cheap to me, but hey, I guess that’s what you get for free. :P
Smelling the dry tea, I immediately knew that I most likely wouldn’t enjoy this blend. It smells very strongly of licorice root, of which I am not a fan. Being a good sport, I elected to try it anyway. I steeped it for 4 minutes and added a small amount of sugar.
The brew also smells strongly of licorice root, with a slightly milder scent of spice, similar to chai. I find that I barely even taste the black tea base – it’s overpowered by the licorice root immediately. There is also a fainter taste of chai spice. The two flavors do meld together well, and I’m sure that someone who enjoys licorice teas would love this one. I hardly think it fair to give this one a rating since I was bound to dislike it. :P
Flavors: Licorice, Spices
May I start by saying this tea has the most adorable tin of the bunch (especially since it’s mini!). It’s a bright, cheery red that makes me happy and excited to drink it. Opening the tin, the dry leaves have the most amazing strawberry fragrance. I would describe it as a mix of natural and artificial – it’s a nice, natural strawberry smell that’s been pumped up and given more juiciness by that touch of artificial. This is the best of both worlds in my opinion.
Once again, the tin did not list instructions because it’s a mini, so I looked it up and the website recommends a 3-4 minute steep at 175 degrees. I decided to try 3 minutes 30 seconds.
The brew itself has a lovely (but less punchy) strawberry aroma. I added a very small amount of sugar just to bring out the fruity flavor. I must say, I really enjoy this tea. I’ve never had Sencha green tea before but I suspect that I would like it because the green tea side of this brew is very tasty. The strawberry flavor is not overbearing but it is definitely there and it lingers on the back of the tongue long after you take a sip. My brew has just a little bit of bitterness but I’m sure this would not be the case if I just shortened the steep time a little bit. Very delicious, I will be sure to give it a rating once I try it with a slightly shorter steep time!
The first tea to try from my Kusmi order! The tin does not have instructions so I looked on their website. They recommend a 3-4 minute steep at 185 degrees. This seems like a low temperature for a black tea, no? I split the difference on the steep time and did 3 minutes 30 seconds. There was no recommendation for the amount of tea to use so I went with 1.5 tsp (seems like a standard).
While I do enjoy the brew, it mostly tastes like an Earl Grey to me – I’m not really picking up on the fruit flavor or much of vanilla or caramel. I think I’ll try this one later with maybe a 4 minute steep time and hotter water? Maybe more tea? Any suggestions would be welcome! :)
I must say, I am very impressed with this tea. This is my third steeping and I can’t believe the jasmine flavor is still there! It has definitely become milder with each time, but I think I may actually like this brew the best. I can taste more of the green tea and it’s becoming a little less mellow, which is a good thing in my book. Starting to get more vegetal and hay notes too. Delicious with just a small amount of sugar! Big thanks to Yezi Tea for giving me the chance to try this tea for free. :)
I need my caffeine this morning! It took me a little while to fall asleep last night so I didn’t quite get as much as I would’ve liked. Taking it straight up with just a little bit of sugar. I really do love this tea, and it’s still really delicious after it’s cooled down a bit, which is a plus.
Good morning, everyone!